Market research helps you define the demand for your new product or service. It’s an important step before launching any new e-commerce business and is part of your go-to-market strategy.
Many businesses skip this step, and many businesses also fail because of it.
I’m a firm believer in being prepared and knowing your potential for success before getting started.
In this video, I’ll be showing you how to conduct market research for a new e-commerce store in 3-easy steps.
Starting a new e-commerce store or website?
Just like any new business, you need a good strategy and implementation plan to ensure success.
In the last blog we looked at how to brainstorm and validate a new business idea.
In this blog, I’ll be showing you how you can perform online market research in 3-easy steps for a new online business or e-commerce store. Let’s get started!
Why should you do market research?
Market research helps you define the demand for your new product or service. It’s an important step before launching any new e-commerce business and is part of your go-to-market strategy. Many businesses skip this step, and many businesses also fail because of it. I’m a firm believer in being prepared and knowing your potential for success before getting started.
3 different types of market research
1. Primary vs Secondary Research
- Primary market research is data you collect and information you collect yourself. You own the data and control how you collect it.
- Secondary market research is data and information that is publicly available. Both you, your competitors and everyone else also have access to this data.
2. Industry Research
- First, you need to understand your industry, its current market size, growth rate and trends.
- Most of this data is publicly available and a simple Google search will give you the answers you need backing by factual data. Type your industry followed by the word ‘trends’ into the Google search bar and filter the results to show only results from the past year.
- Read as many articles and publications as you can to gather all the industry data you need.
- Remember to be as specific as possible when searching.
3. Customer Research
- Now that you understand your industry, it’s important to research the consumer within it and their needs. These are the people that will potentially be purchasing your products and services, so you want to make sure you offer something they will actually want to purchase. Use surveys, reports and insights to gather information about your consumers and potential customers.
- You can create your survey using Google or Microsoft Forms, then share them online either to your email list, on online forums or even social media groups. Search for forums, groups and other communities on Google, then join these groups to take part in the conversation. Then share the link to your survey for members of the community to complete. Sweeten the deal by offering a coupon or prize for taking part in the survey. Sometimes you may need to ask for permissions from group admins before sharing any survey links, so make sure you follow the rules of each group. Your survey should ask for their age, location, income, favourite online stores, brands, colours, specific needs and wishes, etc.
- Industry Consumer Reports, are a great way to supplement your primary research from your surveys with statistics about your user group. These will provide you with further industry insight and trend data to help you with your positioning and strategy. Try searching for the same search terms but followed by the word ‘behaviour’ or ‘trends’ to find these reports.
- Free online tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends and Facebook Audience Insights are great ways to determine what your consumers are actually looking for and purchasing online. You can find out the exact search phrases used, trends over time, where they live and other brands or companies they follow online. Use this information to follow your competitors and analyze their social profiles. See what works for them and what doesn’t to model your future social media and content plan on.
- An industry without competition is one you might not want to get involved in any way. View competition as a good thing. At least the market has been proven, now you just need to figure what unique element you can bring to the table to make your business stand out in the crowd.
- Find out who the dominant players in your industry are, and how many competitors you are up against. Follow that up but determining the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors to find any gaps in the market you could potentially fill.
If you have any questions on how to conduct market research for your company, please leave them in the comments below.